The fine art of losing at poker

The Futility of "Homeland Defense"

Don't even try to close the holes in a country, and a society, designed to be porous

Ready for Action

Despite seeing on television news what used to be confined to action movies, audiences have been flocking to them, perhaps eager for the illusion of control they offer

Councils of War

Every American war has changed our society in ways that were not anticipated. What will be the consequences of the latest war?

The Gospel According to Osama Bin Laden

To Western ears, the author writes, the public utterances of Osama Bin Laden have always come across like the "tirades of a loony idealogue." But these skillful rhetorical constructions, rich in historical allusion, have enormous powers of penetration—and will survive their author

Women of God

Nuns are an endangered species. With a median age in this country of sixty-nine, and little new blood coming in, their numbers have dwindled markedly. The novelist and memoirist Mary Gordon, who herself once contemplated joining an order, examines this disappearing way of life, talks to survivors here and abroad, and wonders what, if anything, can replace the iconic figure of the nun in the popular imagination of Catholics and non-Catholics alike

Incomparable Naturalism

Only an artificer of the highest skill could have produced so seamless an illusion of reality

A Nasty Business

Gathering "good intelligence" against terrorists is an inherently brutish enterprise, involving methods a civics class might not condone. Should we care?

Keeping the Net Secure

September 11 demonstrated the great strength of the Internet. Now it's time to address the Internet's weaknesses

Five Lakes Grill

Restaurants worth building a trip around

At Anchor in the Galápagos

Cruising isn't the only way to see this unique archipelago

What Went Wrong?

By all standards of the modern world—economic development, literacy, scientific achievement—Muslim civilization, once a mighty enterprise, has fallen low. Many in the Middle East blame a variety of outside forces. But underlying much of the Muslim world's travail may be a simple lack of freedom

The Gold Standard

The quest for the Holy Grail of equivalence

Mr. Goodbar Redux

Illusions. Affectation. Lies. This is the insidious and incapacitating legacy of modern dating books

Coping Strategies

When Godzilla gets the willies

Plant Zoos

What exactly is a botanical garden for?

The Land of Counterpane

Jan Karon lets her readers pull the covers over their heads

The Fruits of the Tory Revolution

The recent election of the party's new leader is the surprising result of four decades of reform

The Last Squash Tennis Player

A chance discovery leads the author to the champion-for-life of a forgotten sport


Where Time Comes From

The clocks that coordinate your cellphone, GPS, and more


Computer Vision Syndrome and You

Save your eyes. Take breaks.


What Happens in 60 Seconds

Quantifying human activity around the world



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